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Arrest Warrant Issued For Greek Journalist Accused of Spreading Fake News

Greek journalist
Greek journalist Stefanos Chios has so far evaded arrest. Credit: Makeleio

Greek journalist Stefanos Chios has evaded a flagrante delicto arrest for spreading fake news around the cold-blooded assassination of crime journalist George Karaivaz.

Chios, who is the publisher of the newspaper Makeleio, claimed in a front-page article that he obtained evidence proving that Greek government officials were involved in Karaivaz’s assassination.

Following the publication of his signed piece last Saturday, the Athens Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered a preliminary investigation and the ex officio prosecution of the journalist on the accusation of spreading fake news.

Chios himself had survived a murder attempt nine months ago by fighting off his would-be assassin. He managed to drive to the nearest hospital with an open wound on his neck after taking two gunshots as he was parking his car outside his house.

An extremely controversial figure in Greece, Chios has been arrested in the past and has been sentenced for libel against politicians, journalists, and celebrities in various cases.

His newspaper Makeleio is accused of being a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and anti-communist publication that repeatedly spreads fake news and conspiracy theories.

Ongoing investigation for murdered Greek journalist

Prominent Greek journalist George Karaivaz was shot dead on Friday morning by two unknown individuals, in broad daylight, outside his house at the heart of Alimos in southern Athens.

The widely recognized and highly respected crime and investigative journalist was arriving home after wrapping ups work on the daily television show that he worked for on Greece’s STAR Channel, when the two shooters approached him on a small motorcycle as he exited his car.

Karaivaz was the head crime reporter of leading Greek TV network Ant1 for a decade before starting his own crime news website and joining Star Channel in 2017.

Over the weekend, Greek media have published surveillance camera images of the shooters on their vehicle but the police are yet to make any announcements on the progress of the murder investigation.

Footage of the shooters of George Karaivaz.
Footage of the shooters of George Karaivaz. Credit: Hellenic Police

International reactions to Karaivaz’s murder

Statements of condemnation for the cowardly murder of Kariavaz were issued by the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli; by Aristotelia Peloni, the spokeswoman of the Greek government; and the rest of the groups of the Greek Parliament.

Even Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, issued a statement late on Friday night.

”Murdering a journalist is a despicable, cowardly act. Europe stands for freedom,’’ von der Leyen noted.

”And freedom of press may be the most sacred of all. Journalists must be able to work safely. My thoughts are with the family of George Karaivaz. I hope the criminals are soon brought to justice’’, the President stated.

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